2017, like any other year, gave the cricketers plenty to talk about, both on or off the field. Some quotes induced laughter while some were specifically targeted to settle scores (the Virat Kohli-Steven Smith DRS saga, for example). Some were cheeky (the Jonny Bairstow headbutt) while some were spoken out of mutual admiration (Kohli-MS Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin-Anil Kumble). Some even sent out sarcastic messages. Shruti Hariharan brings to you 14 such quotes by cricketers that made headlines in 2017:

1) Kohli took over the mantle once Dhoni resigned as India’s limited-overs captain towards the beginning of the year. However, there were still moments on the field that showed the extent to which Dhoni was in control of the side — from DRS to field placements. On the eve of Dhoni’s 300th ODI, Kohli presented the former a specially designed silver bat and let his emotions flow through his speech.

Virat Kohli took over the captaincy duties of limited-overs after Dhoni resigned © AFP
Virat Kohli took over the captaincy duties of limited-overs after Dhoni resigned © AFP

2) Apart from winning the Champions Trophy, the biggest gift Pakistan received in 2017 was the return of international cricket in the land. Meher Khalil, driver of the Sri Lanka team bus during the Lahore terrorist attack of 2009, had taken the responsibility of saving the tourists. Though some players were injured, Khalil had ensured the players reached their hotel safely. He was hailed as one in Sri Lanka and was called upon by the President as a guest of honour. On the occasion of Sri Lanka touring Pakistan after eight years, Khalil expressed his excitement.

Meher Kahlil safely took the Sri Lankan team to the hotel when 12 gunmen attacked their bus in Lahore in 2009 © Getty Images
Meher Kahlil safely took the Sri Lankan team to the hotel when 12 gunmen attacked their bus in Lahore in 2009 © Getty Images

3) The Kohli-Smith DRS saga was one of the major controversies that gripped Indian cricket in the early 2017. At Bengaluru, Smith tried — illegally — to seek advice from the Australia dressing-room on whether he should opt for a DRS review. Smith clarified it was a brain fade moment. Kohli was not happy.

When Virat Kohli accused Steven Smith... © AFP
When Virat Kohli accused Steven Smith… © AFP

4) The end of Ashish Nehra’s career marked the end of an era. Prior to his retirement, in the show Breakfast with Champions, Nehra-ji spoke in length about his career, the struggles he faced while being injured (which was most of the time) and also made some quirky comments that proved why he will remain the ‘cool dude’ of Indian cricket.

Ashish Nehra, the cool dude of Indian team © Getty Images
Ashish Nehra, the cool dude of Indian team © Getty Images

5) It is not an unknown fact that Ashwin has always looked up to Kumble. Kumble holds a tally of 619 Tests wickets. Ashwin, the fastest to 300 Test wickets, is currently on 304. His comment reminded people of Sid Barnes’ iconic “It wouldn’t be right for someone to make more runs than Sir Donald Bradman” after Barnes threw his wicket away immediately after drawing level with The Don.

Anil Kumble and Ravichandran Ashwin © AFP
Anil Kumble and Ravichandran Ashwin © AFP

6) If Ben Stokes’ street-brawl incident was not enough, Ben Duckett chucking beer over James Anderson’s head aggravated the matter further. Trevor Bayliss lashed out at the England team and asked them ‘not to act stupid.’ ECB had even imposed curfew on the players in the ongoing Ashes. If you thought chucking beer over a teammate’s head was uncharacteristic, wait until you hear Alan Mullally’s prank. Mullally would surely have received a three-year-ban had he done this today.

Alan Mullally makes huge revelation after the Ben Duckett incident © Getty Images
Alan Mullally makes huge revelation after the Ben Duckett incident © Getty Images

7) After all the criticisms surrounding him, Alastair Cook reassured the world that all was well after carrying his bat at MCG during Boxing Day Test. In the process, Cook leapfrogged three positions to become the sixth-highest Test run-getter. That indeed called for celebrations under normal conditions, but recent activities by his teammates left Cook in two minds…

Alastair Cook was sceptical about his celebrations after notching a double-century © Getty Images
Alastair Cook was sceptical about his celebrations after notching a double-century © Getty Images

8) Jonny Bairstow ‘headbutted’ Cameron Bancroft in a Perth bar before The Ashes went underway. Although Bancroft cleared the air that there was ‘no malice’ through the greeting, he left Smith laughing during the press conference.

When Steven Smith laughed hysterically © Getty Images
When Steven Smith had a good laugh… © Getty Images

9) Rameez Raja has been a subject of trolls on internet for his rather unusual commentary. Shoaib Malik seems have joined the bandwagon. When Rameez asked Malik what fuels his game, money or passion, Malik retaliated by suggesting — in a way — an alternate career where Rameez’s questions would have been more suitable.

From a commentator to immigration officer? © Getty Images
From a commentator to immigration officer? © Getty Images

10) Ravindra Jadeja ended the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with 23 wickets. He also scored fifties at Ranchi and Dharamsala. Those fifties called for special ‘Rajput’ celebrations, which were just a glimpse of it. If Jadeja has his way, he would not mind showing off the complete ‘Rajput’ swag.

Rajout boy shows his swag © AFP
Rajout boy shows his swag © AFP

11) On field, Kohli responds to fire with fire. Joe Root, on the other hand, takes a different approach. Mitchell Johnson, also known for his aggression, compared the two in Daily Telegraph:

Mitchell Johnson explains the difference between two modern generation captains © Getty Images
Mitchell Johnson explains the difference between two modern generation captains © Getty Images

12) Rangana Herath helped Sri Lanka become the first team since 2002 to beat Pakistan in a Test series in UAE. He also became the first left-arm spinner to take 400 Test wickets, 11 of which coming in Abu Dhabi. Yasir Shah, on the other hand, claimed 8 wickets each in the two-Test series. Mickey Arthur cleared the air on who he thinks is the best in the world.

Mickey Arthur just being obedient as a coach © Getty Images
Mickey Arthur just being obedient as a coach © Getty Images

13) Ishant Sharma had a tough time in IPL. He ended the season with 6 wicketless league matches. Apart from leaking runs, there were times when Ishant slipped and fell down on the pitch during follow through. Matthew Hayden provided a zoological analogy that will be remembered for years to come.

Ishant Sharma turns into an animal for a day? © AFP
Ishant Sharma turns into an animal for a day? © AFP

14) Hashim Amla celebrated his 100th Test in style by scoring 132 in the opening day of the third Test against Sri Lanka in Johannesburg. Faf du Plessis, however, could not make his 100th ODI count.

The bond between former and current captain © Getty Images
The bond between former and current captain © Getty Images

But considering it was the pink day, AB de Villiers, was the star of that ODI, found his captain and good friend dapper in pink.